Should I File a New 2018 W-4 Form?

October 03, 2018 : Mike Slack

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 12, 2018. 

As part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, the IRS provided new withholding guidance and an updated 2018 Form W-4. While new withholding tables released earlier in the year were designed to work with existing W-4 forms, you may find that the changes resulted in you receiving a larger paycheck, potentially reducing the amount of your refund.

Given these changes in 2018, you may want to take control and check out the updated W-4 form. That way you can adjust withholding to maximize your money and with the goal of either a larger refund at tax-time or more dollars throughout the year for expenses.

2018 W-4 Tax Form Considerations: Why You Might Want to Update

The primary reason updating your W-4 for 2018 is a good idea is that the Tax Cut & Jobs Act eliminated the deduction for personal exemptions for individuals, their spouses, and their dependents, and the new 2018 Form W-4 reflects those changes. The old version of the Form W-4 calculated the amount of tax required to be withheld from wages based on the number of withholding exemptions reported on the form. Therefore, an individual with an older version of Form W-4 on file with their employer could face adverse consequences.

Who Is Advised to File a New W-4 for 2018?

There are still several situations where filing the new 2018 W-4 tax form with your employer is advisable for this year:

  • Families with more than one earner.
  • People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year.
  • People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
  • People with older dependents, including children age 17 or older.
  • People who itemized deductions in 2017.
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.

Of course, it is always good advice to check your withholding at least once a year or whenever your personal circumstances change.

Wondering If You Should Complete a New W-4 Form?

Our knowledgeable Tax Pros can help you review your situation and help answer your withholding and Form W-4 questions for 2018. Visit your local Tax Pro for more information.

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Mike Slack

Mike Slack

The Tax Institute, H&R Block

Mike Slack, JD, EA, is a senior tax research analyst at The Tax Institute. Mike leads research teams focused on business and investment tax issues.